Have you ever wondered how concrete is made? This incredibly useful substance surrounds us every day in our towns and cities, on our roads and buildings. Basically, concrete is a combination of stone and paste. However, there are certain skills required to get the right mix. More specifically, the paste should be Portland cement and water should be mixed the small, smooth stones and larger, coarse aggregate to form a good concrete mix. The chemical reaction called hydration occurs then the mixture hardens and strengthens and this is what creates the final result of hard usable concrete.
You may not have thought much about concrete in the past but it’s pretty amazing stuff. When first blended, it’s like plastic and is very easy to manipulate, but when it hardens into a set position, it is extraordinarily tough, resilient and durable. That is why it is a common sight in towns and our cities, serving as sidewalks, roads, highways, bridges, houses and dams.
So, how is the perfect mix made?
The secret of success is the proportion of the materials used to make the concrete and how you mix them. Too little paste and you will be left with a difficult mix to use, that creates rough edges and is too porous. Mix with too much paste and the concrete will be more susceptible to cracking. That’s why it’s so important to get it right and best left to the professionals. For Concrete Tewkesbury, visit a site like https://www.monstermixconcrete.co.uk/
The paste is formed by adding water and it is this which allows the substance to completely coat all small rocks as well as the big sand particles (collectively called aggregate). How well the paste is mixed determines the quality of your concrete. This is where it gets complicated. How strong the paste is depends on the water-cement ratio. It is calculated as the weight of water divided by the weight of the cement. Concrete is best made by reducing the ratio of cement and water without compromising the effectiveness and workability of the final result. Ideally, the concrete should be approximately 15% of cement, aggregate and 60-75% to 15-20% water.
Any natural water with no taste or smell can be used in the mixing process. If there is too much dirt in the water, this may affect the time it takes to set concrete and how strong it will be. It can also cause staining, instability, short lifespan and corrosion. Most of the drinking water is fine for use in concrete, while the aggregate should be chosen very carefully. The type of rock and sand used, and their size has a large impact on the final result.